SitNews - Stories in the News - Ketchikan, Alaska


It is time for Alaskans to invest in Alaska's future.
By Patrick Jirschele


November 13, 2006

Some years ago in an economics class, I was told that a definition of a third world country is one that ships its natural resources to a first world country to be processed. We ship most of our oil south to be refined and then buy it back as fuel at what are often the highest prices in the Country. Just last year the State sold off some of the finest old growth timber around at give-away prices. It was shipped in the round to a third world country in the Orient and not processed here. I guess that would make us a Fourth World State.

The State wants to make a deal with "big oil" for a natural gas pipeline to Canada that will drive the cost down in the "lower 48". That's right, cheap gas for the same folks that won't let us develop the oil in ANWR, and want to keep most of Alaska locked up in some kind of national park.

It is time for Alaskans take control of our future. We should take the Permanent Fund money and build the natural gas pipeline. It should be built alongside the oil pipeline and end at a LNG plant at Valdez. Instead of an annual dividend, the citizens of Alaska would get stock in the Alaska natural gas system. Alaska could be a real "ownership society". The people of Alaska would share in the real largess of this State that has been reserved for a few. We shouldn't have to kowtow to big oil. It is our table and we have the billions to justify sitting at the head of it.
The gas could then be used to light the fires of Alaskan industry. Reasonably priced natural gas would run the generators in remote villages and power mining machinery. It would fuel the road building equipment to build highways and railroads to connect all the communities in Alaska. Then we can access the abundant natural resources this state holds and promote the jobs and growth that has been stifled by a lack of transportation and the lack of Federal investment.

Patrick Jirschele
Ketchikan, AK

Received November 11, 2006 - Published November 13, 2006

About: Long time Ketchikan resident.



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Stories In The News
Ketchikan, Alaska